Read it before or after your trip to Peru.... Much more engaging than Hiram Bingham's own description of his travels. I read it after and found it made sense of sights and information I encountered at Machu Picchu and other spots. Though published in 2011, most of the information about getting there as a tourist and what you'll encounter are still accurate. Loved the way Adams intertwined history of Incas, Bingham's "discoveries", and author's trek following Bingham's path.
This book was a funny look into what happens when a pipe dream becomes a reality. The descriptions of the characters that the author met along his journey were fun to read about and made you feel like you were sitting around the camp fire telling jokes right along with them.
I read this book in anticipation of my upcoming trip to Machu Picchu. I learned about the controversary surrounding the “discovery” of Machu Picchu, and found that fairly interesting. A Yale professor, Hiram Bingham, claimed that honor for himself, and he did bring it to the world’s attention, thanks to National Geographic’s interest and support. (In fact, National Geographic’s coverage of Machu Picchu and Bingham’s expedition greatly increased their own stature in the eyes of the world.) It was interesting to learn of the fierce competition to be the “first” to find, climb, explore, etc. There were Quechuan people who lived and farmed at Machu Picchu, however, bringing into question whether it was ever “undiscovered.” The book detailed quite a few sites and climbs, the names of which meant pretty much nothing to me. I thought the book was okay.
I really enjoyed this book especially after being to Machu Picchu myself. Mark Adams' narrative is humorous and informative. He provided personal anecdotes and historical accounts on Hiram Bingham to paint a picture of the marvelous and mysterious Inca culture.
I enjoyed this book. Very interesting as the author explained the Spanish conquest in the 1500's. The author re-traced the steps of Hiram Bingham who re-discovered Machu Picchu in 1911. If you like books about travel and hiking this book might be interesting for you. I finished the book in a couple days of Thanksgiving break. It was an easy book to work through.
WVMLStaffPicks's review is spot on.
I read this about a year after trekking Peru and man, did it really bring me back there, and inspires me to make a return.
A real page-turner & must-read for anyone interested in Macchu Picchu.
Whether you are an armchair traveler or you never take your hiking boots off, this is a fun read. Adams spent years working for various adventure travel magazines but never actually left the office. With the 100 year anniversary of Hiram Bingham’s discovery of Machu Pichu on the horizon, he decided it was time to hit the trail himself. Meeting up with a modern-day Indiana Jones, Adams sets out to follow in the footsteps of Bingham’s travels through Peru. If you enjoy Bill Bryson or you just like a good adventure read, then this is the book for you.
A sublime mix of Peruvian history, Andean culture and adventure travel focusing on Machu Picchu and the surrounding area. Makes the reader want to go to see it in person!
"Travel magazine editor Mark Adams leaves his desk behind for an adventure of his own - even though the last time he slept in a tent was as a kid in 1978... in his backyard. In his determined effort to recreate the 1911 "discovery" of Machu Picchu by now-controversial explorer Hiram Bingham III, Adams spent several weeks hiking through Peru with his experienced expat Australian guide and some local mule tenders. He shares fascinating facts and amusing anecdotes from his trip in this "entirely delightful book" (The Washington Post). For more on Inca history, pick up Kim MacQuarrie's well-reviewed The Last Days of the Incas." August 2013 Armchair Travel newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=664860
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